AT&T-TIME WARNER DEAL: AN INNOVATION OR A MONOPOLY?
Senators questioning the logic of a proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner turned their focus to the how the $85.4 billion mega-deal would affect Americans.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson assured the members of a Senate antitrust panel Wednesday that it will bring the consumers better price options than what they have today. Still after hours of questioning, the skepticism of some senators seemed to deepen over what would be one of the largest media mergers ever.
New Audi car can “read” traffic signals. Audi this week is unveiling
technology that enables vehicles to “read” traffic signals ahead and tell the motorist how long the wait will be. It’s a simple display for the driver — a dashboard traffic signal icon and a timer — but the technology behind it is more complex. It uses 4G LTE cellular communication between the vehicle and a centralized traffic management control network.
The company theorizes that a driver who knows when a light will turn green is more relaxed and aware.
ECB expected to extend stimulus for 6 months. Faced with weak
growth and inflation across the 19country eurozone, the European Central Bank is expected to extend its stimulus program for at least another six months when it concludes its policy meeting Thursday. Last month’s victory by Donald Trump in the U.S. election and the uncertainty generated by the recent Italian referendum, which prompted Premier Matteo Renzi to offer his resignation, will make the decision all the more straightforward, analysts say.
Job postings still healthy.
U.S. employers posted fewer jobs in October than the previous month, but job openings are still at a mostly healthy level that points to steady hiring ahead. Job openings slipped 1.8 percent to 5.5 million, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Hiring also fell to just under 5.1 million, while the number of people quitting declined to about 3 million.
While solid, the data weakened from September, suggesting that hiring is unlikely to accelerate beyond its current moderate pace soon.
Consumer borrowing up in October. Consumers increased their
borrowing in October at the slowest pace in four months as growth in credit card debt and the category that covers auto loans and student loans slowed. Total borrowing rose $16 billion, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. Revolving credit, which covers credit cards, increased $2.3 billion in October. The non-revolving category, which covers auto loans and student loans, rose $13.7 billion.
Economists watch borrowing trends to gauge how consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, will fare.
Starbucks plans 12,000 new locations worldwide.
Starbucks plans to open 12,000 new locations within five years to boost its number of coffee shops worldwide by almost 50 percent. The Seattle-based chain is also adding more food to its menu in 2017 and soon customers will be able to talk to the Starbucks app to order a latte or cookie instead of tapping their smartphones.
Pfizer fined for hiking epilepsy drug price 2,600 percent.
British regulators fined U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and distributor Flynn Pharma a record $112.7 million Wednesday for increasing the cost of an epilepsy drug by as much as 2,600 percent.
Pfizer and Flynn Pharma charged “excessive and unfair prices” for the drug used by 48,000 people in Britain, the Competition and Markets Authority said.